Taste of Summer Engulfs the East With Record Warmth, First 90s of the Season

Chris Dolce
Published: May 18, 2017

A dramatic weather pattern change has occurred along the Eastern Seaboard this week allowing temperatures to soar toward record or near-record levels after a relatively cool start to May.

The first half of May featured a southward dip in the jet stream across the Great Lakes and East, resulting in cooler-than-average temperatures overall. Higher-terrain locations in New England even saw snow from a nor'easter over the weekend, and Mount Washington, New Hampshire, recorded its largest May snowstorm on record as 33.3 inches of snow piled up.

(MAP: Current Temperatures)

A southward dip in the jet stream has brought cooler-than-average temperatures to the East so far in May. This is being replaced by a northward bulge in the jet stream and will allow for much warmer temperatures this week.

This week, the jet stream has reconfigured itself with a northward bulge – or upper-level ridge – along the East Coast, resulting in temperatures 10 to 30 degrees above average. This has turned into a true taste of summer as numerous record highs were set Wednesday and some cities recorded their first 90s of the season. Additional records will be threatened on Thursday.

(MORE: When Are Your First 80- or 90-Degree Temperatures?)

Among Wednesday's daily record-high temperatures were Hartford, Connecticut (94 degrees), LaGuardia Airport (94 degrees), Baltimore (93 degrees - tie), Washington-Dulles Airport (92 degrees), Albany, New York (92 degrees), Boston (92 degrees - tie), Burlington, Vermont (91 degrees), Trenton, New Jersey (91 degrees), Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (91 degrees - tie) and Cleveland (90 degrees).

In addition, Tampa, Florida, reached 98 degrees Wednesday afternoon, which tied the monthly record high for May and was only one degree shy of the city's all-time record high of 99 degrees.

Tuesday afternoon featured several daily record highs in Florida, including Fort Myers (97 degrees) and Tampa (96 degrees).

Forecast: Summerlike Warmth Continues

Thursday

  • Temperatures will be the furthest above average over the Northeast on Thursday. Parts of the Great Lakes, Ohio Valley and Southeast will also remain several degrees warmer than average.
  • Highs in the upper 80s and low 90s are possible from the mid-Atlantic into New England and portions of New York state.
  • New York City, Newark, New Jersey, Hartford, Connecticut, Worcester, Massachusetts and Concord, New Hampshire, will be within striking distance of their daily record high of 90 degrees. Boston will also make a run at its daily record high of 91 degrees.


Forecast Highs Compared to Average Thursday

High temperatures will remain up to 20 degrees above average from the Southeast northward to the Interstate 95 corridor of the Northeast on Friday. A cold front will allow temperatures to retreat closer to mid-May averages this weekend in the Northeast.

In addition to the hot temperatures, dew points will reach the 60s for most areas making it feel humid, too.

(MAPS: 10-Day Forecast)

Overnight temperatures will also be warmer than average and will not provide much relief from the heat and humidity for many areas. A few record-warm low temperatures are possible.

Low temperatures will likely only drop into the 70s from Washington D.C. to New York City Friday morning.

MORE: Flooding, Severe Storms Hit Central U.S. Late April-Early May 2017


The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.